The Denver Nuggets got things started with a decent pace on offense to start the game, but they were struggling on defense as the two sides were tied at nine less than four minutes into the game. Denver’s offense sputtered for a couple of minutes, but they got things rolling midway through the first with multiple 3-pointers falling. That run continued, and the Nuggets were on a 13-4 run when the Los Angeles Lakers finally had to call a timeout to stem the tide. The Lakers promptly went on a 7-0 run over the next minute, and it was suddenly a two-point game again. Denver got a couple of late baskets, but the Lakers were hanging around and went into the second quarter trailing 29-23.
Buckets from range— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 10, 2023
Up by 9 with 3:09 left in the ☝️ pic.twitter.com/20BLigFYpN
The Nuggets started the second quarter quite slow with just five points in the first four minutes. Nikola Jokic re-entered the game, and the team proceeded to go on a run to extend their lead to 10, which was their largest of the game. The Lakers got a couple of baskets to fall, but the Nuggets were really rolling now and stretched their lead to 18 at one point late in the period. Los Angeles was staying scrappy, but the Nuggets were working with a bit more firepower in this one and went into the half leading 62-48.
To start the second half, it was getting a little bit chippy and quite physical between the two sides, but the refs were letting them play on both ends. Denver’s offense was struggling, and they weren’t getting Jokic involved as he had just two shots in the game with 23 minutes on the floor. The Lakers were on a 12-7 run to start the quarter, and they were within nine when the Nuggets called a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Nuggets got a basket, but they were still not able to find the rhythym they had late in the first half with just 13 points in the quarter and just under five minutes remaining. The Lakers had made the game a scrappy one, and they were now within five with 3:31 remaining after trailing by as many as 18 earlier in the game. Over the next 90 seconds, Denver went on a 10-2 run, and they were now leading by 13 with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter. Following a block by Zeke Nnaji, Bruce Brown grabbed the offensive rebound and went running the other way to score a floater as time would expire to cap off a 16-6 run and give Denver the 94-79 lead heading into the final quarter.
Denver started the fourth quarter with some quick scoring, but they rapidly went cold. Meanwhile, on the other end, they couldn’t stop fouling, and the Lakers had already drawn four fouls in under four minutes as they were chipping away at the team’s big lead. Following some soft defense, Michael Malone called a timeout with 7:28 remaining and Denver’s lead now down to 14. Jamal Murray was doing everything he could to keep Denver’s lead on offense, but the Lakers just kept coming back at the other end. Denver’s lead ballooned back to 18 with 6:03 remaining following a 3-pointer from Murray which had him up to a new season-high of 34 points. Russell Westbrook had turned back the clock a bit late and was doing all of the scoring for the Lakers. He had 25 points with 2:30 remaining and Denver leading by 15. With under two minutes remaining, the Lakers had waved the white flag, and that would be all she wrote with Jokic turning in his 11th triple-double of the season along with that season-high 34 from Murray. Denver would collect their 11th straight win at home by a score of 122-109.
Points: Jamal Murray - 34
Assists: Nikola Jokic - 16
Rebounds: Jokic - 11
Player of the Game: Jamal Murray - 34 points, 4 assists, 7 rebounds, 13-of-29 field goal, 5-of-9 3-point, 3-of-4 free throw